Story Blog

Codine's off for the moment, but if you haven't read 'Turning Stones' it's still up there - free read!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello all, happy new year! Well well well, who'd guess we all made it to 2011, eh. Just the other day I inadvertently stumbled for the correct year as 199... ah, no, we're already two decades on. I think it's safe to say I'll absolutely never catch up mentally. I'm toast.

The 3rd already today, and drawing towards a close. Well, we've had a few quiet days, thank goodness. Today saw the start of the Non's swimming lessons, and she did very well. Well – that means, listening to the teacher and trying to do what was asked – and after all, what more can one hope for. Half an hour each day for five days. After that back to the normal one lesson per week. We'll see how it goes. Funnily enough, her this-week's instructor Tina is actually her normal instructor Jess's mum. Jess was there but off-duty for the time, so we chatted a little. How she stays in that pool just bobbing about for hours on end without freezing is something I will never understand. Mind you, there is a certain... err... tendency towards a sirenian body-shape that a lot of the instructors have there, so who knows, that might be beneficial in retaining body heat.

We didn't do much else concrete, except an ill-advised trip to the beach at about 2 p.m., which seems to be when the local isobars narrowed to super-model proportions and sitting on the beach meant being sandblasted into something probably approximating expensive salon exfoliating treatment. Once we got home and showered, the weather instantly cleared up.

It was bin day today (oh you do get all the exciting gossip right here, don't you). No, there is something interesting about it. It being summer n'all, critter numbers are up. Including round the bin handles. Now, taking bins out at night when it's entirely possible that black widows and god knows what else spiders have nestled in right at the handles of the bins is... not enticing. So today I wheeled them (the bins) down to the garage area and hosed them down vigorously, particularly near the handle grooves. Boy oh boy, arachnid heaven. Two huge fat orb spiders (you wouldn't believe the tiny crevices they can crawl into), some other fat thing I couldn't name, and countless other small things – luckily no redbacks that I could see. Saved all of them (certainly that I saw) but after the bins had dried out I sprayed them liberally with the horrid spider-killer, and my throat is still stinging from it, despite holding my breath. That stuff is (literally) lethal. Feel awful doing it but there are just certain lines that really need to be drawn. One of them is right there, on ownership of the bins.

Going back to yesterday, there was, of course, our trip to the Reptile Park. Just over an hour's drive south-ish towards Sydney. Outing was a huge success, despite the not-impressive amount of creatures available to view, due single-handedly to the efforts of one testosterone-filled egomaniac of a geriatric reptile handler with a monolithic obsession of raising money to save the Tasmanian Devil (6m AUD), mainly it seems through sales of photographs of everything the park could possibly have to offer, almost certainly including cute park-keepers of any denomination whatsoever. He ran shows throughout the day, and I mean throughout – constantly. Reptiles general, crocodile feeding, baby animals, stick insects, snakes, venom extraction program, dingos, whatever. He'd talk, entertain, drop a little bit of information here and there, defy death every few minutes to keep the interest up, and plug photographs at the end. Heavily. $15 a pop for standard ones, all proceeds going to Devil breeding programmes wherever they are. Hats off, that chap is positively dragging the whole park kicking and screaming in the direction he wants to go in. The Non loved it. Wanted to see every single show available. Considering we arrived at about 10:30 and left at nearly 5, and the last show ended at about 4, it's very impressive. Our camera batteries ran out at a very early stage in the day, possibly all for the best. After all, our hard drives are crammed with photos of animals and us with animals, it's all more of the same and it's more fun going round without having to photograph things all the time. I think we got pics of the Galapagos tortoise and that was about it.

On New Year's Day itself I think all we really did was go to the beach, and chill out at home. So tired from all the previous excitement. Very welcome break. I think there was some considerable video-watching (though I fail to recall what), and possibly more than ample eating (of something, don't know what). Plugged into the mains and recharging on a hot socket.

p.s. You probably've never seen this excellent video. 12 days of Christmas Indian style. Happy 2011. 

1 comment:

  1. Camel chose a very good day's cricket for the Pflea from the reports we have seen.

    Glad to hear that the Non is doing so well and listening to what she is told at her swimming lessons. Remember, some you win.

    Here it is still cold and mostly sunny: Alessandra has just come up to tell us about her hospital appointment. Neither of the doctors at the hospital could find any small lump in her womb, as reported by another doctor, so she is very happy and has stopped worrying about what to do about it. She has bought herself some sushi for this evening.

    Love to you all,